August 31, 2018

August Ends On a Nice Day.

1. It was hot today but we had a breeze this evening and sunset was pretty. To accompany this Skywatch scene, allow me to share a quote from Aretha Franklin, whose life and music were celebrated today.
"Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, it’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening."

2. I found a memorial worthy of today's Black and White Weekend photo. This is in remembrance of the tragic 911 attacks (of Sept. 11, 2001) and also honors first responders. It is in Elkton, Virginia, and was designed by Liz Workman and constructed by Rick Workman in 2011.

3. These flowers with a butterfly are my contribution to Floral Friday, along with the next picture.

4. Zinnias are reliably colorful. (Bloggers, if you have an orange-themed photo, link up with Orange You Glad It's Friday.)

5. My photographer friend Nancy mentioned she would be passing my neighborhood so I invited her to stop by. I showed her and her husband around the community.

August 30, 2018

Montpelier's Fences and Gardens.

James Madison's Montpelier, Post #3 of 3.

Garden Gate.

Montpelier is in Orange County, Virginia. It is a National Trust for Historic Preservation property.

James and Dolley Madison had gardens but the formal garden was planted during the early 20th century when the duPont family owned the property. August is not the best month to visit the garden because many flowers had faded from the heat, but we can go back. The gardens and grounds are free to visit.

August 29, 2018

Farm Buildings at Montpelier

After touring James Madison's home and garden, we started to leave the property but I spotted a big green barn and turned down a lane to take a picture of it. Our map showed that the road looped around and came back out so I drove down it and saw some other interesting buildings. I believe these are from the time when the Dupont family owned the property. They had a dairy farm and a huge horse facility where races are still held.

There are also some modern buildings that I did not think to photograph, but there is an educational center devoted to furthering learning about the constitution.  

August 28, 2018

James Madison's Montpelier

Near Orange, Virginia.

We visited Montpelier last week. It's been years since we were there, and sections of the house that were added by the Dupont family in the 20th century have been torn down since then. Also painted stucco that covered the original red bricks has been removed.

The house is still large (23 rooms!) and the grounds are still lovely. This was home to James Madison, our 4th president, and his wife Dolley.

The house tour emphasizes James Madison's role in shaping the U.S. Constitution, but also reveals his struggle with the institution of slavery. He used many enslaved people on his plantation but was active in a plan to send slaves who wanted to leave to the colony of Liberia where they would be free. (Few wanted to take the uncertain journey though.) His wish to avoid separating slave families fell apart after his death because his stepson ran up huge debts that forced his widow Dolley to sell off people. An exhibit in the basement interprets this painful story.
Rear View of Montpelier.

August 27, 2018

Late August Treats

The Good: We were on our way home recently and the sunset was getting pretty. Frank was driving so I begged him to turn into the parking lot at Lake Front Royal so I could take a picture. There's something about a sunset reflected in the water that is very satisfying.

The Random: Today I ran some errands that involved some setbacks: a sudden shower that pelted me just as I reached the recycling center, and several shopping disappointments. Then as I was driving through Woodstock, I thought "What was it that I read was scheduled to happen by the "Love" sign?" Then I saw policemen there with band instruments and I remembered: they are filming a video for the "Lip Synch Challenge." I parked my car and waited while they finished setting up.  Here they are!

The Fun: Ice cream! Oh how I wish I could eat the kind that's available everywhere! I'd enjoy ice cream parlors like this one in Front Royal. With an allergy to cow milk, that doesn't work for me, but I did stop and take a picture of this mural. 

Sharing with Monday Murals and Through My Lens.

August 26, 2018

Front Royal Baptist Temple.

This church is on 18th Street in Front Royal, Virginia.
Sharing with InSpired Sunday.

August 25, 2018

Animal Shelter, Shenandoah County.

Since we had pet supplies that we no longer need, we donated some to the animal shelter near Woodstock. I had an appointment in that town on Thursday so that was an opportunity to visit the shelter.

Mostly I had cans of dog food. When Flash's health was declining, his appetite got less and less so I bought different brands and flavors hoping that he would like something enough to eat more. It turned out he only liked refrigerated food and human food so I wound up with a shelf full of extra cans.

The shelter is neat and well-kept. We walked through and looked at the animals, although I am not ready to adopt another pet yet. They had just held a "Clear the Shelter" event so the shelter was not crowded.

"Spay and neuter" is good advice. I don't need to tell you that there is a surplus of unwanted pets.

August 24, 2018

Just Things I Saw.

1. I noticed the lights and shapes on a store ceiling today. 
Sharing with Black and White Weekend.
2. These pups were getting used to the river. They were reluctant to stay in it at first, but followed their human dad until they got over their fear.
Linking to Orange You Glad and Willy-Nilly Friday.
3. This struck me as something to share with Signs, Signs.

4. In that same store, I noticed this shirt, almost as if it were commenting on the sign above.

5. Last but not least, some petunias for Floral Friday.

Have a nice weekend!

August 23, 2018

The Old Avtex Plant

Not much is left of the old rayon factory in Front Royal. Once a sprawling complex with tall smokestacks, it was torn down except for a couple of office buildings. The land around it was polluted and had to be cleaned up

For years, the plant polluted the air and the river. One of the main customers was the U.S. Government, for it made parachute material during World War II and later it made special insulation for rockets. Eventually it was forced to close and Avtex declared bankruptcy. Many millions of dollars in clean up have rehabbed the property although it is still not considered safe for children to live or play in.

When I was young, foul odors from this plant permeated the air in Front Royal and we could smell it when we drove through the town on our way to Shenandoah National Park.

Links: My 2014 Post about the completion of the clean-up.

August 22, 2018

Bird, Butterfly, More Birds.

The first two scenes are in Shenandoah National Park. The rest are in our neighborhood.

The mallard ducks like to perch on a bale of barley straw that was put in the pond to help fight algae.

The long neck probably belongs to a great blue heron. He was standing in the water and the grassy bank blocked my view.

In the last photo, a male cardinal is perched on a heron statue. I'll take credit for the picture because I cropped it, but it was taken automatically by a wildlife camera.
Wild Bird Wednesday.